Have you ever had shingles? If not, I hope you never get them. I got them last August, while in the hospital. And having the shingles suck. I was miserable.
What are Shingles?
I didn’t know exactly what shingles were. My mother-in-law had them, so I knew they were painful, but that ‘s all I knew. If you have had the chickenpox, in the past, your chances are greater. And if you are over 50, your chances increase even more.
The Shingles is a virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles affect the nerves. Those closest to your spinal cord. It is a painful, and blistering rash. The rash can be severe and disabling. I didn’t want to do anything but sleep. I slept when I could cause the Shingles interrupted my sleep. Making it difficult as well as painful.
I read where you can only get shingles if you have had chickenpox in the past. The virus can lie dormant for years. Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles, but its more common in those that are 50 and older. Having a weak immune system can also raise your chances of contracting shingles.
In the beginning, I thought my shingles were new patches of psoriasis. And the pain that they caused, well I figured that was pain caused by my kidney stone or my urinary tract infection. It wasn’t until I was admitted a second time to the hospital that I was diagnosed with shingles. I told the nurse I thought maybe I got them from the first time I was in the hospital.
While in the hospital they gave me Gabapentin for the pain, and it did the trick. It is a nerve medicine, and it helped quiet my pain. Shingles affect the nerves, which was why pain pills didn’t work for me.
My family doctor still has me on Gabapentin, because, four months later, I am still dealing with flare-ups. I always have tenderness to the touch, at times it is worse than others. I no longer have the rash that you see in these pictures. It’s more of discoloration of my skin, where the rash once was.
I also have swelling, where the rash once was at. I no longer have a rash, but a discoloring of my skin where the rash was. The swelling would get worse when the pain did. Sometimes it would get hot as well. I experienced a few headaches and some chills. But thankfully that didn’t last long. Some don’t have a rash at all, but they do have the pain.
Just when I think I’m getting rid of these damn shingles, they flare-up. My family doctor said that some people get them and never get rid of them. I hope that is not the case with me.
There is No Cure
There is no cure for shingles. The first time, I was sent home from the hospital with pain meds. And let me tell you that pain pills did absolutely nothing for my pain. My husband got some ointment (Terrasil) to put on it, which helped take the edge off, but I still had pain. I can not describe the pain that I experienced with shingles, it’s like nothing I have ever felt in the past.
I would often tell people I’d rather go through childbirth again than to have shingles. And how I wouldn’t wish them on my worse enemy. Shingles are that painful!
I am not a doctor. I am only sharing with you my experience with shingles. And they suck, big time. Remember that pain pills did absolutely nothing for the pain. So if you get the shingles, and regular pain meds don’t work, ask your doctor, or tell the ER you want a nerve pill for the pain.
The Gabapentin that I take has side effects. But honestly, don’t most medicines have some kind of side effects? I did experience fatigue in the beginning, but after a week or two, that feeling was gone. Whatever you may take for your shingles, read the side effects so that you are familiar with what you might experience. And if they begin to happen to you, let your doctor know. If severe, go to your nearest ER.
My husband got a small package of CBD bath salts. I used it and it worked wonders. Soothed the pain and the burning. Be careful though cause when I ran out, hubby bought some at a food store, they were pricey and did nothing for me.
Using a heating pad would sometimes help. As well as lying on the side that they were on helped. Remember though I was also taking the Gabapentin.
One in three adults will get shingles. Usually appearing on one side of the body. With mine, it was on the right side. From the right half of my lower belly, across my ribcage, all the way around to my lower back. That then spread to the middle of my back. Usually, it is most often prevalent on the abdomen, back, chest or waist. But shingles can also be present in your eyes, on your face, and your ears. The virus has also been known to be on the inside of your body, affecting your internal organs.
A skin rash similar to the chickenpox rash, which will usually be present in certain areas. Like those, I stated above. Your pain may be dull, burning, gnawing or stabbing pain. This pain could come and go, or be more constant.
You will get blisters, that are fluid-filled, which can make the shingles highly contagious. Mine blisters lasted about two days, then they scabbed over. Once they dry up, you should no longer be contagious.
Below is the progression of shingles I found online.
- Pain, tingling and numbness of the skin, in one particular area
- A rash will then appear, usually red.
- Fluid-filled blisters will appear, being painful and possibly itchy. The blisters spread on your skin and can look similar to a burn.
- You may get the inflammation under the skin, which can cause pain and tenderness.
Once the blisters go away, you’re usually no longer contagious and they may leave scarring.
There is no way to predict how long you will have the shingles, but I did read where most usually you should only get them one time unless other complications arise.
Other symptoms can be:
- blurry vision
- flu-like symptoms,
- long-term pain
- muscle pain,
If you suspect that you have shingles, get immediate medical attention, for it can lead to serious complications. During my research, I found home remedies. Whether they work or not I do not know. I have added an L-Lysine supplement to my morning pills as well as at night pills. When my pain and swelling goes away, I’ll cut back to taking just one pill a day. Honestly, I have no medical proof, that they work, besides feeling better.
There is no cure. So if you find a site, which I did, that claims to get rid of your shingles, know that it is probably a scam. I hope your shingles goes away sooner than later. Let’s say this together, SHINGLES SUCK!
And if you’ve got any ideas on what helps with shingles, feel free to let us know about it in my comments section below.
Shingles are not something to ignore. It is serious. It will go away on its own. And how long one has the Shingles differs from one person to another. It has been published that shingles may contribute to stroke or heart attack.
There are vaccines that are supposed to reduce the chance of you coming down with Shingles I’ve heard that it does help and I also heard that it really doesn’t. Once you have the virus and remember you get from it from having chickenpox, you will always have the virus.
The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again. Erma Bombeck